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How to recycle items not accepted at kerbside

Items can be recycled through kerbside collections, drop-off locations and take-back schemes.

On this page you can find out how to get your item recycled. Search by item or scroll down the list. 

If the item you are looking for, or a new recycling scheme, is not shown email wastebehaviourchange@mfe.govt.nz

For more on what you can and can't put in kerbside recycling see Recycle right

Item

Kerbside

collection

Other recycling options

Description More information
Aerosol cans No Drop off and take back Spray cans

Check your local council’s website to check if a drop-off service is available.

Some metal recyclers (opens in new window) may also accept aerosols.

All cans must be completely emptied before recycling.

Hair care aerosols Schwarzkopf Hair Care in collaboration with Terracycle(opens in new window) offer a free recycling programme for hair care aerosols.

Aluminium foil/tray No Drop off only Tin foil Some scrap metal recyclers accept aluminium foil for recycling. The aluminium foil must be clean and scrunched into a ball.
Appliances No Drop off only

Whiteware

Fridges

Freezer

Dishwashers

Washing machines

Dryers

Televisions

Toasters 

Irons  

If your unwanted appliance is still working consider selling or donating your appliance.   

For non-working appliances see your local council’s website for recycling or disposal options. 

Batteries  No Drop off only

Rechargeable batteries 

Li-ion 

Lithium ion e.g. rechargeable batteries 

Ni-cad 

AAA 

AA 

Button batteries 

Hearing Aid batteries 

Household and power tool batteries

These can be dropped off for free at some Mitre 10 and  Bunnings Stores.  

Drop off locations, can be found on a map of collection points [WasteMINZ website]. It includes both free and paid options.  

Tape over the battery terminals to reduce the risk of sparks before placing them in a collection unit.  

Hearing aid batteries  

See drop-off locations.[New Zealand Hearing website] 

Batteries (car) No Drop off and take back

Lead acid batteries 

EV and hybrid batteries 

Vehicle batteries 

Transfer Stations 

Most transfer stations accept car batteries for recycling. They may charge a fee.  

Retailers 

Most retailers of petrol and diesel car batteries accept old ones for instance see: Battery Recycling [Repco New Zealand website] and Battery Recycling[Supercheap Auto New Zealand].

Some car companies have recycling schemes for their own electric and hybrid vehicle batteries for instance: Toyota Hybrid Battery Recycling and Mitsubishi Battery Recycling

Bread bags No Drop off only   Bread bags can be dropped off at the Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme collection sites.
Car seats No Drop off only

Booster  

Convertible car seat 

Child car seat  

Capsule car seat 

SeatSmart offers a child seat recycling service in most regions. A recycling fee may be charged.

Carpet No Drop off only

Rug 

Mat 

Floor covering 

Some community recycling centres and transfer stations accept carpet or rugs. Check your local council’s website to see if this service is available. 

Clothes  No Drop off and take back

Textiles  

Fabric 

If the clothes are wearable, consider selling or donating them. If they are not wearable, recycling options include:  

H&M stores - accept all textiles.  

Icebreaker stores - accept all used clothing excluding socks and underwear.  

Little Yellow Bird Apparel - accepts natural fabrics. You buy a bag to fill and post back.  

Coffee pods No Drop off and take back  

Coffee pods - L'affare, L'Or, Moccona, illy, and Jed's coffee pods can all be recycled through Terracycle.

Nespressso have their own recycling scheme for their pods or fill a Nespresso NZ post recycling bag with used capsules and return to any PostShop. 

Contact lenses and lens packaging No

Drop off only

 

Packaging for lenses can be separated and recycled if it meets all the requirements.  

Check with your local optometry store to see if they offer a drop off service for used lenses and packaging that cannot be recycled from home. 

Curtains  
No Drop off only Textiles 

If the curtains are in good condition consider selling or donating to a curtain bank. Red Cross is one organisation that takes-back curtains.  

For curtains that can no longer be used, check with your local council for disposal options. 

Disposable face masks  No Rubbish bin  

These cannot be recycled. Put them in your rubbish bin. 

E-waste  No Drop off only

Electronic waste  

Laptops 

Cables 

Computers 

Tablets  

Notebooks 

Palmtops 

Hard drive 

CD drive 

Computer monitor 

Mice  

Keyboards 

Web cameras 

USB and Modems 

Printers  

Scanners  

Multi-function devices 

Cameras  

Video cameras 

Handheld battery or plug in tools 

Anything with a battery or a plug

If your unwanted device is still working you can sell or donate it. 

Recycle a Device (RAD programme) collects and refurbishes old laptops and tablets and gives them to people in need.  

Tech Collect NZ provides drop-off locations for unwanted or non-working e-waste (this includes some Noel Leeming and Warehouse Stationery stores).  

Sharp New Zealand takes back at all branches any Sharp electrical products including microwaves, refrigerators, TVs, and display screens. Customers can also return used toner cartridges.  

Local e-waste recycling services are also often listed on local council websites.

Food No Organics bin Food scraps

Food scraps should not be put into your regular recycling bin.

If you do not have access to a council collection or are unable to home compost use Sharewaste to see if there are other alternatives near you.

Food and drink cartons No Drop off only

Liquid Paperboard

Tetra Pak

Drink carton

Juice boxes

The Food and Beverage Carton Recycling Scheme accepts all clean food and drink cartons (such as juice, stock, long-life milk and alternative milk cartons).

See drop-off locations 

Cartons must be fully opened out flat and washed before drop-off.

Footwear  No Drop off only Shoes

If your footwear is in good condition consider selling or donating them. 

Terracycle takes back most types of footwear for a fee see TerraCycle – Shoes and Footwear 

Garden waste Yes Drop off only  

Garden waste should not go in the recycling bin. Some councils offer kerbside collections of garden waste. Others have drop-offs at local transfer stations so check your local council website to see what services they offer.

Other companies offer a paid kerbside collection service for garden waste or you can home compost.

Glasses No Drop off and take back

Prescription glasses 

Reading glasses 

Sunglasses 

Plastic frames 

Metal frames 

Specsavers, Ocula and Lions Club accept glasses for recycling.

They send them to Volunteer Ophthalmic Services Overseas - a New Zealand charitable trust that provides glasses and sunglasses to people in need across the Pacific. 

Gas cylinder No Drop off only

Gas bottle

Gas canister

Camping canister

Hazardous substance containers (eg, those containing pesticides, motor coolant or engine oil) are a health and safety risk.

Transfer stations and community resource recovery centres may accept hazardous substance bottles for safe disposal. Check your local council’s website to find out where and how.

Some automotive stores accept used engine oil containers and used engine oil.

Lids/caps/tabs No Drop off only

Bottle lids/caps

Wine bottle lids/caps

Jar lids

Beer bottle lids/caps/ tabs

Container lids

Metal lids

These can be dropped off at your local Lions club or at your local metal recycler. They should be rinsed and dried.

Plastic lids

There are no nationwide schemes currently but there are some local initiatives including EnviroHub Bay of Plenty - Precious Plastic Tauranga and How It Works — Good Caps.

Some councils such as Wellington Council offer drop off locations for both plastic and metal lids. Check your local council’s website to check whether this service is available.

Light bulbs  No Drop off only

Lightbulbs 

Mitre10 accepts all used household lightbulbs at its stores.   

They do not accept broken lightbulbs.  

Make up containers No Drop off only

Mascara

Lipstick

Skin care

Haircare

Terracycle offers a drop off scheme. Empty make up containers can be recycled for free at Mecca Stores and Sephora Stores. They accept mascara tubes and wands; cosmetic compacts, palettes tubes and lipsticks; eye, lip and brow liners, makeup pots, hair and skin care containers and lids.

Some products such as aerosols and nail polish are not accepted.

Some brands such as Mac offer takeback of their containers once empty.

Medical waste No Drop off only

Medicines

Sharps

Needles

Lancets

Syringes

These items can’t be recycled. For safe disposal, please return any expired or unwanted medicines, or needles and syringes to your local pharmacy.

Pharmacies may accept your sharps in a suitable household container (they’ll tell you which ones are safe to use) or they may sell you a yellow or purple sharps container.

Find a pharmacy in your area.

Mobile phones  No Drop off and take back

Cell phone 

RE:MOBILE is a mobile phone recycling scheme. You can drop your phone off at a participating store:   

All 2degrees, One NZ, Spark retail stores, Noel Leeming stores, Resene colour shops. 

Or send to Re:Mobile via Courier or Freepost  

Remove the Sim before recycling. 

Nappies (disposable) No Rubbish bin

Diaper

Currently there is no way to recycle disposable nappies in NZ.

Cloth nappies are an alternative option [Waste Ed]

Paint containers No Drop off only

Paint tins

Paint cans

Paint buckets

Many paint brands, such as Resene and Dulux, accept unwanted paint and paint containers for reuse or recycling.

Some transfer stations or community resource recovery centres also accept empty and dry paint containers.

Check your local council’s website to check whether this service is available.

Pizza boxes

Yes Recycling bin

 

Remove any food and flatten

Plant pots (including those made of plastic 5)

No Drop off only

 

These cannot be collected in kerbside recycling.

Many garden stores operate drop-off recycling schemes for plant pots. including:

Mitre 10 Pot Recycling and Bunnings recycle your plastic pots and Daltons Pot Recycling and Kings Plant Barn.

Plastics numbered 1

Yes Recycling bin

Drink bottles

Water bottles

Meat trays

Clamshells

Produce punnets

Rinsed if dirty, lids off.

Plastics numbered 2

Yes Recycling bin

Milk bottles

Cleaning product bottles

Detergent bottles

Shampoo bottles

Rinsed if dirty, lids off.

Plastics numbered 3

No Rubbish bin

Some biscuit and cracker trays

 

Plastics numbered 4 (rigid packaging)

No Rubbish bin

Some tomato, bbq and mustard sauce bottles

 

Plastic numbered 4

(soft plastic)

No Drop off and take back

Biscuit bags

Bread bags

Bubble wrap

Chocolate wrappers

Courier bags

Chip packets

Empty chiller packs

Frozen food bags

Plastic bags

Soft plastics can be dropped off at the Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme collection sites.

You can also purchase a courier bag to post your soft plastics back for recycling [Recycling], if there is no drop off location near you.

All soft plastics must be empty, clean and dry.

Plastics numbered 5

Yes Recycling bin

Square ice cream containers

Margarine containers

Large Yoghurt containers

Dip containers

Note: Ice cream containers made from cardboard lined with plastic cannot be recycled.

Plastics numbered 6

No Rubbish bin

Six pack yoghurt containers

Sour cream containers

Cottage cheese containers

Some types of trays

Many dairy products are made from plastics numbered six

Plastics numbered 7

(other types of plastic)

No Rubbish bin

Some fresh pasta and

Sliced meat packets

Compostable plastic packaging

 

Polystyrene packaging

No Drop off only

Plastic numbered 6

Expol operates a Household Polystyrene Recycling Programme for polystyrene used to protect electrical and household appliances when transported.

The polystyrene should be clean. No dirt, food waste or residue, no stickers or tape.

Polystyrene food packaging is not accepted by this scheme.

Printer and ink cartridges  No Drop off and take back

Ink, toner and drum cartridges 

Brands 

Several brands offer a takeback service. See: Recycling [Brother New Zealand website]

HP Ink & Toner Cartridge Recycling [HP New Zealand website] 

Recycling Programs [Canon New Zealand website]

Check with your brand.   

Retailers 

Some retailers offer in-store drop off such as Harvey Norman, The Warehouse Stationary,  Check their websites for store locations that offer this service. 

Takeaway coffee cup

No Rubbish bin

 

These are made of a mix of materials and cannot currently be recycled. Please put in the rubbish bin.

Toys

No Drop off only

Stuffed animals 

Games 

Puzzles 

For toys in good condition consider selling or donating to your local toy library or second-hand store. 

Other toys may be suitable for dogs in need, check with your local SPCA 

Terracycle offers a paid takeback option for many toys and games (including electronic) and toy pieces. Note toys must have batteries removed.  

For toys with non-removable batteries or those requiring a plug, refer to the guidance provided for 'e-waste'. 

Tyres

No Takeback 

 

Before 1 September 2024, contact your local council for recycling options.  

From 1 September 2024, leave your tyres with your registered tyre seller or fitter, when you replace them, or at registered public collection points (up to five tyres at a time). See Ending Tyre Waste [Tyrewise website]. 

Wine bottle lids

No Drop off only

Metal lids

Bottle lids

These can be dropped off at your local Lions club  or at your local metal recycler.